As you prepare to sell your home, you may choose to have a realtor assist you with the process. If you go that route, be sure to ask him or her a few key questions before signing any contracts. Don’t assume that any questions have an obvious, “Don’t all relator’s do that?” type answer. If I had asked these simple questions before signing on the dotted line, I would of had a much more enjoyable home selling experience.
Question #1: When and where will my home be advertised?
Since realtors pony up the cash for newspaper ads, web listings, yard signs and TV spots, be sure to ask your realtor what methods they use to promote the sale of your home. Also find out when these services will begin. After you sign a contract, all sources of advertising should be in place within the first week. After all, they knew they were meeting with you to potentially sign a contract, so certain provisions should be in place for the possible contract.
The “For Sale” sign should be in the yard as your realtor leaves – not two weeks later. A web listing should be consistently posted. Be sure to check the website frequently to verify all the information about your house is accurate, free of typos and exemplifies your homes key features. Your realtor submitted the ad, he or she can have it updated.
Question #2: Who will be conducting my open houses?
Don’t assume that the person who’s name is displayed in front of your house will be conducting your open houses. I came home from an open house to find out that the newest realtor in the firm had conducted my open house. I’m not against the new person, as long as they have been trained. During our conversation, I found out she was unable to answer basic questions, such as, “Do appliances stay with the home?” This basic information can be found on your home’s info sheet, which should be handed out to each potential buyer that visits your home. Needless to say, I was disgusted.
Question #3: Is my home in your selling range?
Some realtors prefer to only work with high-end homes. Some want to work with commercial property. Some prefer duplexes and apartment buildings. Just because someone recommended a realtor to you, doesn’t mean that they will want to sell your type of property. Be sure that the price range and style of property that you are selling is consistent with what your realtor prefers to sell. The last thing you want to hear is that your realtor prefers to sell homes that are at the 100K mark or above, as you sit with your house listed below that magic number.
Question #4: How can I contact you?
Be sure your realtor gives you an office and cell phone number where he or she can be reached. Ask if they have email, and use it. During the home selling process, you will have lots of questions and will be planning for home showings at the last minute. If you can’t get in contact with your realtor, you may be losing out on a potential sale. Be sure lines of communication are open on both ends. You will need to share you cell phone and work phone numbers too.